The New York Mets just completed their second three-game series with the New York Yankees, dropping two out of three, bringing their season total against the Bronx Bombers to a pathetic 1-5.
By and large, when the Mets have struggled this year, the bullpen has been the culprit. On Saturday night (June 23), Jon Rauch was summoned to maintain a tie game, and quickly suffered a neck spasm whipping his head around to watch Eric Chavez' homer untie it. Then in the last game (June 24), Miguel Batista arrived from the bullpen to toss a scoreless seventh inning. Perhaps in shock, manager Terry Collins left him out there to pitch the eighth inning - a frame that started with Robinson Cano. Has there ever been a more unbalanced matchup than Batista against Cano? Well, Cano tagged one that might still be rolling around on the Number 7 train back and forth from Manhattan. Currently, the Met bullpen is statistically the worst group sitting behind the outfield fence with gloves on in the league, with an ERA north of 5.00 - almost unheard of incompetence.
But you really cannot take issue with the poor guys out there that comprise what passes for the Met bullpen. As a sidebar, perhaps we can rename them to identify the members as something other than a bullpen, which is a term loosely connected to late-game heroics. How about "the Met guys who pitch after the starters." While it's not catchy, that should be fine, because they're not pitchy. They're not at fault either. For the most part, they are ordinary pitchers who have been cobbled together with what little was left in the Met budget after Fred Wilpon and his associates were bamboozled by Bernie Madoff. Frankly, at the moment, Madoff might be a better option than Rauch.
We all expected the entire team to deliver this kind of performance in 2012, given some of the names we've finally learned to spell and pronounce. Somehow, the rest have exceeded expectations by so much, that the bullpen seems disappointing. They're in over their heads, the lot of them - which is the direction many have been looking in search of scorched hits.
Glenn Vallach has been a New York Mets fan since foolishly abandoning the mighty Yankees in his youth after Mickey Mantle retired. Since the fond, fleeting memories of the Tom Seaver, Cleon Jones, Tommie Agee years, he sits quietly yearning for a fraction of the success enjoyed annually by the team that inhabits the borough in which I was born...waiting and hoping...waiting and hoping.
- · Yahoo! Sports New York Mets page
- · Yahoo! Sports New York Yankees page
- · Yahoo! Sports Jon Rauch page
- · Yahoo! Sports Miguel Batista page
- · Mike Fitzpatrick, The Associated Press Cano, Yankees touch up Dickey in 6-5 win over Mets